'Skid row' killer gets eight years for attack
Published 04/03/2011 | 05:00
A HEROIN addict who smashed a vodka bottle over the head of a homeless man was yesterday sentenced to eight years for manslaughter.
Victim Ariel Cegielka (30) died in hospital in April last year, two days after the assault by Corneluis 'Connie' Horgan.
Horgan had 14 previous convictions -- nine for public order offences, four for drugs offences and one for theft.
Mr Cegielka's mother asked that the strongest possible sentence be handed down.
"After the death of my husband in 2003, my children have been my only consolation. Ariel was not a perfect son, but I loved him," she said in her victim impact statement.
"It will be very hard for me and Ariel's sister to accept we will never see him again."
Judge Con Murphy yesterday sentenced 29-year-old Horgan to eight years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The judge said: "Those who descend to this type of 'skid row' existence can commit very serious crimes. It is a lesson to all to deal with their addictions."
He suspended the final three years of the sentence.
The court heard that on April 17 last year Mr Cegielka walked past a group of people at the rear of the Simon Community shelter at Lower Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork. As he passed, witnesses confirmed that Horgan swore at Mr Cegielka in Polish.
Gardai told the court that CCTV showed Mr Cegielka challenged Horgan verbally but made no attempt to strike him.
Witnesses confirmed that Mr Cegielka said he was too drunk to fight Horgan but would return the following day.
According to garda evidence, CCTV footage shows Mr Cegielka returning three times.
The last time, while Mr Cegielka had his arms at his side, Horgan struck him on the head with an empty vodka bottle using his "full body weight".
He fell to the ground and suffered a 20cm skull fracture.
Mr Cegielka was taken to hospital but stayed unconscious and died two days later.
The court heard Horgan, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was one of six children and originally from the Midleton area, in east Cork.
Both of his parents were alcoholics and he had travelled to London at the age of 13 with his father, and effectively lived rough there until his was 20.
Since entering prison, Horgan was no longer on drink or drugs and had made serious efforts to turn his life around.